Blog With Integrity

It seems I'm not so good at taking breaks.
Or maybe it actually wasn't a good time after all. There's a lot going on in the blog world right now.
I'm just going to keep this short & simple, since I am, after all, on break. Sort of.
Blog-wise, I am a very small fish in a very large ocean. I've definitely considered trying to get sponsors, more ads, etc. But I haven't done it, mostly because this is my little home on the internet, and I don't want anyone else to tell me what to do with it. I want to do what I want to do here. Because I want to do it. Not for any other person, business, or purpose.
My goal when I began was not to make money, or get free stuff. It was just to blog. I've been "writing" things in my head since I was a small child and first became a bookworm. It was only natural to start a blog. When I began, I didn't even know the other stuff existed. And now that I do....I don't really care.
I also learned after starting my blog, all about the blog community. That, I care about. Friendships, support, the awesome power of social networking...those things are amazing. And they should be used for good, not evil.

That said....



By displaying the Blog with Integrity badge or signing the pledge, I assert that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is important to me.

I treat others respectfully, attacking ideas and not people. I also welcome respectful disagreement with my own ideas.

I believe in intellectual property rights, providing links, citing sources, and crediting inspiration where appropriate.

I disclose my material relationships, policies and business practices. My readers will know the difference between editorial, advertorial, and advertising, should I choose to have it. If I do sponsored or paid posts, they are clearly marked.

When collaborating with marketers and PR professionals, I handle myself professionally and abide by basic journalistic standards.

I always present my honest opinions to the best of my ability.

I own my words. Even if I occasionally have to eat them.


BlogHop '09

I go and announce that I'm taking my first ever Blog Break, and what happens? I stumble upon this awesome party going on this weekend! It's BlogHop '09. I'm all about a party, so I just had to crank out one quick post and join in on this one. It's a little fun for those of us who aren't at BlogHer '09. I'd love to be there - maybe next year!
So, here's a little about me:
My name is Cyndy. My husband, John, and I have been married for 4 years. Between the two of us, we have four children. Our boys are 16 & 9 years old, and the girls are 13 & 8. They are all awesome kids & we're very proud of them. My husband also has an angel baby, his firstborn son, who lived only 3 weeks. We live in a small town in North Florida.
John is my hero; I never imagined finding a man like him. He is such a good person and so laid-back. He took on a stressed-out single mom and her three kids, and loves us and takes care of us. He also makes me laugh even when I am in the foulest mood EVER. We are very good for each other.
I'm a little bit of a hippy who wants to save the world. We volunteer as much as we can, and try to help charities in small ways. One of those is the March for Babies, as John's firstborn son was a preemie. We walk & raise money in his memory at least once a year.
We are very committed to animal rescue, and foster cats and dogs. We currently have four dogs, three cats, and one fish of our own, and a handful of foster kittens.
I work nights full time at a hospital, and will soon be going to college to start the prerequisites I need for nursing school, which is exciting and a little terrifying.
We love going to outdoor concerts, the springs, the beach, river, lake....we like water. We love camping. I'm all about making memories and having fun. We love to laugh.
I'm not a type-A, overachieving kind of mom. I'm a DysFUNctional kind of mom. I'd rather leave the dishes in the sink and take the kids to the park. Our house is a chaotic zoo (which is why my Twitter name is CyndysZoo!). And that's the way we like it.
There's so much more to say, but this is supposed to be a quick introduction and I think I passed that a couple of paragraphs ago!
Thanks for stopping by, and happy Hopping!


On BlogHer, Babies, Boobs, and Breaks

Unfortunately, I will not be here this weekend: BlogHer (Orlando '10, anyone?)

I will, however, be hanging out here: http://www.blogherathome.com/.

And there are a few other places I'd like to show you. Maybe you can find some new places to hang out while you're not at BlogHer (I'm assuming you're not, because if you were, you probably wouldn't be reading this post!).

If you haven't already, check this out:

The Spohrs are helping NICU families in Maddie's honor. I can only imagine how much the families will appreciate this. It's such a meaningful contribution in Maddie's name.

This is a new site, custom-made for us under-achievers who are proud to do the minimum!

And every chance I get, I'm ogling this site:

Boob Emancipation

Who wouldn't be??

And when I'm done with all of that....I'm going to take a little break. I've never really taken one, and this is my 358th published post! I can haz a rest? I figure this is a good time, with so many people being so busy with BlogHer. I'll still be visiting, and I'll be back - I promise!

And better than ever. ;o)

The Stupid Thing I Did Today, Part II

I told you there would be a part II to this! And believe me, it's only taken this long because (a) this is the first blog-worthy Stupid Thing I've Done since part I, and (b) it's the first thing I've remembered to blog about. Because honestly, Stupid Things are pretty much a daily occurence in my life.

But this one was remarkable.

We took the kids to the library on Monday. We checked out books, checked out a couple of DVDs...the usual library stuff. When we were walking out, a bookcover happened to catch my eye. So, I was reading the cover as I was walking out the door and CRASH! I slammed right into the security machine that beeps if you try to walk out with a library book.

You know, like this?

HUGE and impossible to miss?
Yeah, not for me. I'm special like that.

I even have a huge, purple goose-egg on my forehead to prove it.

Now it's your turn. Tell the truth....got stupid?


Weekend Wrap-Up 7.20.09

After a very stressful week, John and I really needed to get away from everything. So we took a very-mini-vacation!
For the longest time, John and I have wanted to camp at Anastasia State Park, but they usually book up far in advance at this time of the year. But on a whim, I checked the website last week and there was one campsite available for one night! So I grabbed it, and on Saturday morning, we threw the tent in the car and off we went.
We had a great time. We spent most of our time on the beach. We also did some nature hikes and walked around downtown. It was beautiful, peaceful, and relaxing. I also found myself saying "the kids would love this!" several times, so we have plans to go back with the kids ASAP.
While we were there, John remembered that De Lions of Jah were playing in St Augustine on Sunday. They are an awesome reggae group that we'd seen before at one of the Free Friday concerts in our hometown, and we really enjoyed their show. So we decided to go see them again. We had a great time. I don't know which we enjoyed the most, the music or the people-watching. John and I both are avid people-watchers. (Which really means we're just damned nosey.) I love gatherings where you see people of all ages, races, and walks of life, and this concert fit that description. There was a very old lady who danced throughout the entire show. She was hilarious! And some very strange people....some were the cool kind of weird. Others, not so much. But they were all fun to watch!
We ducked out a little early to head home. The kids got home that evening and it was my first time seeing my teens since their church camp trip, so we had a lot to talk about!
It was one of those weekends to remember. The best kind.


Let's Talk About....Um...You Know....THAT.

I have a couple of friends who work for, um, adult product companies. They stand up in front of a group of people and extoll the virtues of, uh, ya know, toys. And...lotions. And...stuff.
I could never, ever do that. If my whole family was dependent on my selling sex toys for our sole income, we would starve.
It's not because of any moral objections, not at all! Toys are great. *ahem*
It's because I would be so.freaking.embarassed. That kind of thing is way out of my comfort zone. I would stutter, and tremble, and my face would turn shades of red that you've never seen before in your life.
Kind of like it's doing right now, as I type this. Because I'm going to tell you a story that is sooo embarassing. But it begs to be shared.
My kids like to hang out in my room sometimes. I don't know why, but they go in there and watch TV and mess with my hair stuff and perfumes. Mostly it's the two girls.
Now, we all have one of those drawers by our beds...right? The ones filled with odds and ends....only stuffed down in the bottom, there are some...fun things? Adult fun things? Underneath everything, so surely the kids won't see them.
We thought we'd never get busted. They'd never go digging around in that drawer. Nobody had ever come running out with the bottle of KY Silk yelling, "Mommy, what's THIS??" We thought we were so slick.
That is, until I was looking in the drawer the other day, and pulled out a little, um, toy. A little battery operated bunny toy.
With a very cute, very carefully placed BUTTERFLY STICKER on his little bunny back.


Girly-Girl Time

This past Sunday, my older two kids left for their church trip to Virginia. Andrew was with his grandmother. So, that left just Elayna, my youngest girl, for a few hours until she went to her dad's house that evening. I'd thought about it earlier in the week and decided that she and I would spend some Girly-girl time together.

I so rarely get one-on-one time with any of my kids. It was only a few hours, so we couldn't do anything spectacular, but we had fun.

First, she took a bath and washed her hair. Then while it was wet, I braided it into two braids per her request. When we do that, the next day when we take the braids out, her hair is crazy-wavy and cute.

Then, of course, her nails had to be done. With pink polish and glitter hearts painted on top. Toenails too.

When that was done, I made her face up with a little of my make-up. She was loving it.

We had planned to walk to the ice cream shop during this time, but we forgot that they were closed on Sundays. So we improvised...we walked to CVS and got frozen treats from there. She also got a pair of Hannah Montana sunglasses.

It was so simple, but so nice. She loved
being the center of attention for a little while!

The end result, from my camera phone....


If you can't say anything nice...

.....don't say anything at all.

Which sometimes leaves you with nothing to blog about! ;o)

So I won't tell you about.......

........the obese poodle I saw this weekend. That would NOT be nice.

........or the fact that my friend's daughter totally farted in the face of the photographer while getting family portraits taken last night. Not nice! But hilarious.

........I won't say that some jackass is taking of advantage of a charity, of all things, and bringing down the spirits of one of the most incredible, strong, giving, amazing people I know. Because that is purely nasty.

......I'm not going to comment on the crap coming out about Jon Gosselin's new girlfriend. There is nothing nice to say about that, for sure.

......and this story gives me chills and tears unlike anything I've read in a very, very long time. Senseless horror.


Awesome/Not Awesome

It's a two-fer today - Friday Fragments and Friday's Freewrite! If you join in, be sure to visit Half Past Kissin' Time and/or Ordinary and Awesome to link up.
My personal theme today is:

Awesome/Not Awesome.


§ My friend Heather is splitting up with her boyfriend. They live(d) together, and since things are ending, it's kind of awkward at home, so she is spending a lot of time at my house. She cleans, helps with the kids, and she cooks. Friends - I.have.a.wife.!! And it's awesome. And I may never let her leave.

Not Awesome:

§ "Someone" allegedly her ex who is innocent until proven guilty smashed the crap out of her car. Jumped on the roof, shattered her windshield, dented it all over. What.an.ass.


§ My oldest two kids are going to a church camp in Virginia this coming week.

Not Awesome:

§ My kids will be out of state, without family, for a whole week, for the first time ever! And I will miss them!


The customer in the truck ahead of me at the Chick fil A drive-thru this morning.

OK, so there was a hooman driving, but it's pretty awesome that it totally looks like the dog was handling everything from this angle.

Not Awesome:

TV hauling FAIL.

And these are all just awesome. They make me laugh and I hope they'll make you laugh too!

(courtesty of Criggo...check it out, that blog cracks me up!)

Have a great weekend!


I'm a Kreativ Keepsake!

I recently was honored to get two very sweet awards.

The first one is the Kreativ Blogger award from my sweet friend, Carissa from Sugar Boogers & Tantrums.

I'm supposed to nominate 7 other bloggers who I feel have a Kreativ blog, and they are supposed to nominate 7 others too. (Be sure to leave a comment on their blog about the award.) After they accept the award, they are then asked to write a list of 7 things that their blog readers may not already know about them.

My seven things are:

1. I work in a Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit.

2. I work nights and I love it.

3. I have 3 tattoos.

4. When I was 9, my appendix ruptured and I had an emergency appendectomy. I nearly died.

5. When I was 11, I ran into a glass door and sliced my right leg all up. I had major surgery.

6. When I was 13, I had such a severe case of pneumonia I was hospitalized for a week.

7. When I was 15....we were nervous!

I'm going to cop out on nominating 7 bloggers because you're all awesome, so just grab this if you want it!

The Keepsake Blog Award is from one of my most treasured blog friends, Tara from If Mom Says OK. There are rules for this award as well:

1. Post a funny or sweet keepsake that tells something about myself.

2. Pass the award on to 10 other bloggers that I think are keepers.

My keepsake is my locket, just like in the picture above. I've actually posted about this before.

My mother found this locket from one of her million catalogs, I think. It's unusual because instead of the traditional 2 spots for pictures, mine has four. One for each of my four children. I wear it often, and I assumed that all of the kids knew what was inside of it. But recently, Andrew asked me if I had any pictures in my locket. I told him yes, and sat down and opened up the locket and showed him the pictures. I told him that the locket contained pictures of all four of my children; Tim, Shelbie, Elayna, and him. He absolutely beamed, he was so pleased to be included in my locket. It was a really sweet moment. I love my keepsake locket!
So, seriously, I think all the bloggers whom I read and who read my blog, are keepers. But I'm going to pick a few to do this Keepsake post, because it's fun! So.... A Thorn Among Roses , Books, Bags & Bon Jovi, Deep in the Heart..., The Queen's New Throne, Keeper of the Skies Wife, Midwestern Mama, & At the Porch Swing...come on down! And receive your Keepsake Award, and do your keepsake post. Pretty Please? *bats eyelashes*


Weekend Wrap-Up, Late Edition

Better late than never, right?

We had a pretty fun weekend, starting with Friday. John was off, and since Andrew was so good entertaining himself while I slept and all of the other kids were at their Dad's, we decided to treat him to a special day.
First, we took him to see Night at the Museum II, which he really liked.
Then we took him out for Chinese food for lunch.
Next, we took him to get his hair cut in the style that he's been wanting......

.....the mohawk! It looks so cute. Next time he'll go a little shorter on the sides, but he was a little cautious the first time around. (we colored it red for the 4th of July!)
We finished the night by ordering his favorite food for dinner, pizza, and watching movies.

Saturday morning, I picked up my kids from their Dad, and at noon we went to the big 4th of July celebration. My friend & her daughter came along too. The kids had a blast, jumping in bounce houses, sliding down water slides, and just running around being silly. The adults walked home a few times to suck down some adult beverages, so we had a pretty good time ourselves! We ran into a lot of people we knew. The fireworks were really awesome. My niece and her boyfriend came for the fireworks, as well as 2 more of our friends and their baby son.
When that was over, we went home and did a few of our own little fireworks, sparklers, poppers, etc. Then we finally hit the bed!

Sunday we went to my parents' house for a cook-out, but my dad refused to cook out because it was hot. So, we cooked in. Tim had to work at 4pm so we didn't stay long, which turned out to be a GOOD THING. (See blog post below.) The rest of the evening was spent chilling on the front porch and talking. My friend made tuna pie for dinner, which is one of those dishes that sounds weird but tastes SO good.
Speaking of yummy recipes...for last night's dinner I made Mini Cheesy Salsa Meatloaves from A Southern Fairytale blog...they were a HUGE hit with my whole family, plus my friend and her daughter. You've got to try them- they're delicious! And super-easy.

Hope y'all have a great week!


pour me another one

I try to spend time with my parents. They are aging (for lack of a better term, we're all aging). My mom is 66 and my dad is 73. But what I seem to forget when I plan these get-togethers is that they drive.me.batty. They are both retired now. They are total homebodies who never go anywhere or do anything. They sit around the house and get on each others' last nerve! They cause me stress and anxiety when I'm with them.

I don't want to look back after they're gone and wish I'd visited more. But man, they make me wanna tear my hair out!

Time for a nice glass of wine...or perhaps a bottle.....


TGIFriday Fragments

Here are the fragments running through my head this Friday.

~*~ My hubby was off yesterday, is off today, and is off all weekend. This makes me very, very happy!

~*~ My kids will be with me for the 4th of July. This also makes me very, very happy!
There is a huge celebration just around the corner from our house at our Rec Center. They are expecting around 20,000 attendees! It should be a ton of fun.

~*~ My oldest son, Tim, ya know that kid who got his driver's license two weeks ago?? Guess what he got yesterday? His first speeding ticket. I.was.livid.

~*~ Remember how he started his first job last week? His first two paychecks will go to pay the speeding ticket. :sigh:

~*~ Right now my kids are with their Dad, and we only have Andrew at home. We don't get a lot of one-on-one time with the kids, since we have four of them. But later today, we're taking Andrew to a movie (Night At The Museum 2), to get a his hair cut in a special style he's been wanting (pics to come!), and then we'll get pizza (his fave meal) and probably watch more movies at home. It's going to be fun!

~*~ If you missed my post yesterday, please go read it. This is not to pimp a post, it's really an important subject.

~*~ Remember my friend, who I hadn't seen in a few years until I ran into her a few weeks ago? She is going through some really rough times right now, and we have been helping her as much as possible. Watching her daughter and just being there for her. (we being myself and my husband because he is so supportive, concerned, and helpful. LOVE that guy.) Anyway, it just got me thinking how God puts us into each other's paths for a reason. I have no doubt that I saw her that day so that I could help her right now. She has held me and cried and thanked me for helping her. And I am just thankful that we are able to help her, and that I was put in her path that day.

~*~ Last weekend, John and I went out to lunch, and there was a Jeep Cherokee parked next to us. This thing had some of the best bumper stickers on it that I've ever seen. I wanted to take pictures of them, but I didn't want the owner to see me and freak out. Anyway, the best one, which really stuck in my head, said: Spiritual People Inspire Me. Religious People Scare Me. I love it.

~*~ With Independence Day almost here, my thoughts are with the men and women in the military who are fighting for our freedom. In particular, my cousin Stephen, who joined the Army last year, and my childrens' cousin, Josh, who just joined the Marines. Both of these guys are very young and I am so proud of them, and I worry about them, and love them so much.

Whew! I am all defragged now, I feel much better. Go visit Mrs. 4444 at Half Past Kissin' Time for more Friday Fragments!

~*~ Have a wonderful Independence Day Weekend!~*~


You can't take them with you....

...your organs, that is. So why do some people insist on holding on to them after they are gone?

When I was very young, I thought the idea of organ donation was gross. Then, when I was still quite young in fact, I had a child. And that changed everything. When I would read stories about children with illnesses, whose lives were saved by organ donations, through my tears I would think, How dare I even think about taking an organ for my child, if I am not willing to give mine? And I soon became an organ donor. I made sure that my family knew of my wishes. Although John hates to discuss it, he knows how I feel, and knows that I fully intend to come back and haunt him if he does not honor my wishes.

While sorting through a patient's admission paperwork, I noticed that she had specifically opted NOT to donate her organs. And I just do not understand that. Why? How can you deprive someone of a chance at life by keeping organs that you no longer need? They will rot away. And thus, someone who could've lived for many more years, may die because of that decision.

What if it were your loved one who needed the organ or tissue? Like Hallie's Dad. Hallie over at Wonderful World of Weiners, of course. Her dad would not be with them today, if not for the kindness of a stranger. She is currently doing a raffle to raise money for organ donation, and it is HUGE. It's just her way of giving back, as her Dad was given back to her family.

My friend Lori at The Queen's New Throne has a friend who is waiting for a liver. Their lives are on hold while they wait for that call saying they have the liver she needs.

Read some of the stories here. Think about how you would feel if your life, or the life of someone you love, was hanging in the balance, waiting for an organ, while so many people are being buried with their perfectly good organs inside of them. Thirteen people die every day in the US waiting on an organ transplant. Don't wait until it's too late. Become an organ donor now!

Are you an Organ Donor? If not, please tell me why not? I'm honestly interested.